Will it Mail?

The Sequoia needs a muffler. Not big news – I noted it while I was crawling around under it in the previous owner’s driveway, and I used it as the basis for trimming $700 off the asking price. It rapidly got worse when we got it home, and it’s just too “throaty” sounding for a family truckster, IMHO. Time to replace it.

Now, I hate exhaust work. If there’s a dirtier job in the shop, I’m not sure what it is. It’s not terribly greasy work, but the fact that even if you have a lift, the fact that you still have to be below what you’re working on leads you to getting showered with rusty, dusty bits of crap that are laser-guided around your safety glasses and into your eyes. Or your eyes, or nose, or mouth. And even if you cover all your head holes with the appropriate personal protective equipment, crap still finds a way into your clothes and shoes and hair. Tyvek bunny suit? Sure, but on a 90° day with dew point in the 70s, that’ll kill you pretty fast.

But, repair we must, because I’ve been ripped off by Midas and other “under-car specialists” enough to know better by now. So off I went to RockAuto.com to source the parts I needed. Muffler, clamp and gaskets went for $255 shipped. Not too shabby. Tip o’ the hat to Uncle Buck for turning me onto Rock – my fridge magnet collection is small compared to yours, and I hope to keep it that way.

IMG_20150715_114931009The little stuff arrived Monday – I ordered it Sunday! – and the muffler was scheduled for today. So when the driveway alarm went off before lunch, I figured it was my order. I was surprised to see the mail carrier struggling with something in her truck down by the gate, so I ran down to help her out. Turns out it was my muffler – they had just wrapped the flanges with bubble wrap, slapped a shipping label on it, and said “Here you go!” to the USPS.

To their credit, the Post Office got it here jiffy quick, and with minimal damage. I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me. The USPS makes an honest effort to deliver anything to every address in the country. I myself have gotten large “naked” shipments before, like the bucket forks for my tractor. Not to mention unusual shipments too, like a box of day-old Barred Rock chicks. And I recently read an article where a group tried to mail ridiculous things to each other, to test the limits of the USPS; turns out that a plain can of split pea soup or a hammer with a label on it will probably get to you just fine, as long as you have sufficient postage. But the unwieldy and heavy nature of this particular parcel took me by surprise.

So thanks to RockAuto and the USPS (and Uncle Buck), it looks like I have my weekend project figured out.

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